Maybe you come from a tradition that practiced baptism differently than here at The Bridge. Maybe it’s the one thing about our church that you’re not comfortable with. I get it. I was there at one time.
But after extensive study on the history and debate surrounding baptism in Christian circles, one thing I’ve learned that everyone seems to agree on, Jesus’ earliest disciples, and the first century church, practiced baptism the way we do. That’s not a matter of debate. Whether you are from a Lutheran background (like me) or Reformed, Wesleyan, Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, all agree that the early church baptized it’s first converts by immersing them in water when they personally professed faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection. That’s how they did it every time and without exception in the New Testament. No debate on that.
Christians do debate the reason for change to different modes of baptisms and how early the transition took place. And I think those debates are healthy. But there isn’t a debate about how baptism was originally practiced. That’s pretty settled.
So if you come from a tradition that practices baptism in a different way, I get it, and that’s ok. But here’s my sincere question for you. Why not just go ahead and get baptized the way Jesus did, and the way his earliest followers practiced it? Why not? The Bible certainly does prohibit a person from getting baptized again.
When I was in Israel, I stood on the shores of the Jordan River near where Jesus was baptized and I thought, “I’ve already been baptized (sprinkled as a baby and immersed as a teenager), but this is where Jesus was baptized! Why not?” So, after baptizing about a hundred people, I had two of the other pastors baptize me. It was a special thing to be baptized in the same river Jesus was.
Since we know Jesus was baptized as an adult by immersion, and since we know that the early Christians were also baptized by immersion as adults (or at least old enough make the decision for themselves), even if you come from a different tradition and that tradition is meaningful to you, why not go ahead and experience the very special ritual of being baptized the way your Savior was?
This is your opportunity and this may be a day you will remember for the rest of your life. If you believe Jesus died for you and rose again, and you are trusting him to forgive you, just do it. Go ahead and get baptized the way Jesus was.
You won’t regret it.